Little bits of this and that…


And how are you lovely people today?  Warmer than Raymond and me I hope!  It is freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing here in Wellington!  What a week we are having with our polar blast, it is truly incredible!  I said last week in a post that I had never seen snow drift past my window, ever, ever, ever, so seeing about five minutes of it a week ago was quite exciting.  Well, that was nothing compared to the last two days!  Wellington does not get snow, the news is saying it has been 50 years since it happened last… which accounts for the excitement yesterday in the city as snow fell from the sky for hours and hours.  I was at polytech when it began and my tutor had to stop the class because no-one was paying attention to the DVD we were watching, we were all looking at the snow… snow IS more exciting than solution-focussed couples therapy, you may agree!  As Wellington is not exactly built for snow, lots of roads have been closed and busses have stopped running as we are built on steep hills which are dangerous when icy.  We’re due for another blast this afternoon, so I’ve refrained from going to work for what would be a very quiet day anyway, and I have an unexpected day at home with my knitting and spinning and a whole pile of readings to do for class. 

There’s not much snow to be seen from my house as I live on the hills near the sea and get hit with the wind straight from the South (and North, what a fun place to live!) so it hasn’t been settling, but there are some amazing photos of it all around the city HERE (lovely aerial shots) and HERE (love the lion in the snow, BEAUTIFUL!)  For those of you who are quite used to the snow, you may be laughing at us here in Wellington, but this is quite an event.  Yesterday when I left polytech I walked dow to the bus in the snow, my first time ever being snowed on and it was refreshingly beautiful, cold but quite amazing.  I’m glad to be home however, because snow-storms are not so fun when you are out and about, they are much more enjoyable from the comfort of my rocking chair!  Sadly the snow has trapped KB in Taupo where she has been visiting her family… the bus due to bring her back to Wellington has been cancelled due to unsafe driving conditions so cross your fingers for her that she will get back home tomorrow.  Raymond is missing her very much.

Enough snow talk!

Today’s post is about this and that… lots of little things that I’ve been up to lately.  I’m still working on my hand dyed socks, I’m onto the second foot so have nothing to show, but am very excited about showing you as the colours are so fantabulously awesome!  So let’s start with some spinning!

Precious Jewels!  The stunning hand dyed fibre I bought from HERE

Her colours are perfectly, amazingly vibrant and I loved spinning this lot, 100gms of merino.  She has more in her felt shop if you are tempted!  I know I am, but I am drowning in roving right now so need to take a little shopping break!

I plyed this with cotton and ended up with 222 yards of beautiful colour, I’m looking forward to making this into something special to see how the stripes look… but for now it is languishing in my stash making me very happy!

Next is Miss Misery…


Irresistable Maude and Me loveliness, this braid is 110 grams of Perendale in the colourway Miss Misery.  I saw this in her etsy shop the other day but it had been reserved… so you can imagine my excitement when I found one at Holland Road Yarn Company a week later… it was mine immediately!  I began spinning it on the afternoon KB left for her trip up the country, and fell in love with the colourway and the way it spun… I kept going and going and going, and then when I had finished the two singles I needed to see them plyed or I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I plyed them and by the time I looked at the clock to see if it was bed time, it was the middle of the night!  Miss Misery makes me extremely happy!

I must state here, and many spinners who have spun Maude and Me will agree, that it is the best out there.

So what else… it looks like I’ve been on a spinning marathon, but this is the result of a couple of weeks of spinning!

100gms of corriedale dyed by Maria who sadly does not like computers so doesn’t sell online also passed through the magic wheel to create this beautiful and thrilling skein of colour!

Mum and I are waiting for more dyes to arrive from Ashford so we can get cracking with some more dyeing fun… we’re a bit addicted to it right now!  We did have some primary colour pots left over from the last dyeing session, so had another bash at some sock yarn on the weekend.  I bought one of the four skeins home as I want to overdye one that didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to, but I’m thrilled with this one…

Dyeing is still very much trial and error but we are learning a few things along the way… like with the exhaust dyeing method that we use, if you add the dye when the water is boiling the colours become more vibrant…

Also, if you want brighter colour, allow the dye to exhaust, then add a little bit more, let it exhaust, add a little bit more… a little at a time otherwise it will turn black.  All very simple things but not so simple when you are starting out!

We also tried over-dyeing which I will tell you about when we have done more.  I have big plans thanks to some fab ravelry inspiration which I will share when I get around to it!  So many ideas, so little time!

So back to the spinning… I was struggling with my spinning last week, learning new skills can be frustrating at times and when I spun one of the colourways of merino that I dyed myself I get quite annoyed that it was becoming all slubby and uneven and there seemed to be nothing I could do to make it lovely and even.  I finshed it, however, and plyed it together and decided that I could accept at this stage that my spinning occasionally comes out quite rustic.  I named it Candy Floss as it is exactly like spun candy floss…

I haven’t made much with my handspun yet (as it takes so long to spin it is for knitting purposes only as crochet uses up so much more yarn) so I decided to try knitting something cute and cuddly with my skein of candy floss.

Meet Harriet the Handspun Monster.

 She is quite fabulous and I love her far too much to call myself sane….

The pattern is Baldwin the Bathroom Monster from Rebecca Danger’s Big Book of Knitted Monsters which is so fabulous, I love it!  Over on Ravelry I looked up the Baldwin projects and to date there are 102 of them, all with such distinct personalities!  I loved having a look through, these monsters give me the giggles majorly so make sure you pop on over to enjoy them all!

Harriet is sitting on KB’s chair and every time I look up I see her and start to laugh, I can’t wait to get started on my next one!  And I’m thrilled with the way Candy Floss knitted up, it’s exciting to see the stitches and how even they are compared to my first few skeins… I’ve still got lots left so Harriet will have a sister before long!

OK then, I believe I have exhausted myself of photos and stories, so I’m off to start my next monster!  I’ll leave you with a Richie mosaic as he is growing so fast he will have changed by the time I see him next!

Thank you for popping in to visit us today, I hope life is full of happy moments for you!


About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Dyeing Wool, Knitted Monsters, Richie the Lamb!, Spinning. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Little bits of this and that…

  1. Sharon says:

    How exciting! I wish there was a little artic blast here in the south! I just love snow and we hardly ever see it here either. :o) I have learned to make you squares for an afghan for Christmas. I think my college son will be shocked if I can get it done. It seems like my pile will never get big enough. Thank you for your posts and sharing your talent! – Blessings –

  2. LeeAnn says:

    Don’t worry! I’m from Phoenix, AZ and if I got snow I would be talking about it even more than you! I’m very jealous you have snow because right now it’s 110 F so I would love some snow!
    I’m LOVING your yarn spun from the Precious Jewels, Miss Misery and Maude and Me. I usually don’t like the way that yarn like that spins up but yours is very even and I’m definitely a fan! You’re doing so great. Keep posting photos, they’re so encouraging (especially that adorable monster!)

  3. KB says:

    ‘Kia Ora’ my beautiful Alice,
    You are soooooo talented (and soooooo wool obsessed! But you know that.) I luurve the colours in your new sock wool, very professional, and luurve all your photo’s, and luurve Ritchie who is sooooo gorgeous, and luurve all the spinning you’ve done, and think your rustic pink yarn is gorrrrrgus! And I feel so much better after reading your blog because it’s given me a wonderful, magical burst of Alice energy, and I almost feel as though I’ve been sitting opposite your manic knitting self taking it all in from the comfort of our own lounge room. And most of all I Luuuuuuuuuuurve Harriett. She is the coolest monster-chick ever! And it’s ok that she sits in my chair because she is so cool, but tell her not to get too comfortable, I’ll want my chair back tomorrow.
    PS: A Special Hello to Mr Raymond Meowski, and thank you to him for looking after his old mum while his other old mum is trapped in small town New Zealand by snow demons.
    Love KB.

  4. Bearlakenana says:

    The Precious Jewels is glorious, I love the colors! Richie is adorable and makes me want a lamb. I’ll have to stay happy with visiting my neighbors sheep, goat, & babies.
    Enjoy your snow. I’m alway happy to see the first snowfall but it’s all downhill from there😉

  5. Lu Douglas says:

    haha, just love the little pink mean machine monster! These characters have a special place in my heart because they are ‘thpecial’!! And that lamb…my Hunni would love him. he has the same legs only Hunni’s are golden where his are black! He’s adorable and just asking to be hugged! Adore your wook, Alice. so cool and yes, artistic!! love getting your posts.. lu x ps be glad you are snowed in and are being FORCED to spin and knit! lol!

  6. Wendy says:

    Ritchie looks so cute. Love all your spinning, lovely colourful wool.
    Think/Know I would love to make one of those monsters lol. I have
    some very strange dolls here that I love to bits.
    Hope KB is back real soon Alice.
    take care xo

    • Misty says:

      Alice, Raymond, and KB,

      Thank you for the lovely post. The snow is awesome to hear about, I am sure you all loved it very much, I am so excited for you. Home KB makes it home safe, my best wishes are with her and you also. I just love Harriet and can’t wait to see her sister. The wools are so beautiful, your doing an excellent job of spinning them, keep up the good work. Can’t wait to see the new socks your working on, there always so yummy to look at and to wear I can imagine. Keep up the blog and inspiration, your a true doll. Just love to hear about Richie also. What a cutie pie.

      Love to you and Raymond and KB.

  7. steffi8534 says:

    awww KB called him Raymond Meowski!!! Thats sooo cute!!! We have a grey/white tabby whom I cannot remember his “official” birth name as we’ve called him “CatDaddy” for so just stuck!
    Alice, you dear sweet thing…ITS ALL GORGEOUS!!!! your yarns spun, the colors, and that monster..omg I must learn to knit to curb my crochet obsession because I must have a pink monster now! She is simply fantastic!
    I am sooo envious of the snow!! I am in South Central Texas and its hot as hades here!!! I’d give anything for snow right now. Stay warm!

  8. Regula says:

    Lovely monster.🙂

  9. Kate says:

    I am a fan of Harriet. The snow looks gorgeous, we are finally having a break from our sweltering heat here in the midwest, U.S.

  10. Jude says:

    Just as I read your post, I tuned into BBC iplayer and watched the snow scenes and news of the state of affairs in your piece of the world…
    We are still enjoying hot, hot hot here on Crete..too hot to handle yarn, so I’m enjoying your post of yummy roving and your very impressive spinning.
    Take care and keep warm.

  11. Teje says:

    Hi Alice! I just adore your yarns! All the colours are so delicious and I want to start knitting and crocheting after all this too hot summer! If you feel cold, come to visit me and Nero and perhaps you win your own sun!
    xxx Teje

  12. Sarah says:

    Ooooh you clever thing – your spinning is looking amazing!!! Such colours! I have never tried spinning (yet!) but I am really enjoying your journey – you’re producing some awesome yarn. And as for the monster – SHE IS ADORABLE! my sister’s birthday is coming up and I think she would love one of those so I’ll be checking out Ravelry later!

    Sounds like you are – mainly – enjoying the snow. We have some most winters now (it’s warmer in the South East of the UK where we live so we don’t ways get it and sometimes not much but northern places can regularly get a lot! Despite this the place still largely grinds to a halt each winter. Even a few inches is sufficient to stop the trains, the councils run out of grit for the roads so they become unsafe, people panic buy and the shelves are empty….. So I love your enthusiasm for it but don’t really share it😀

    Hope KB stays safe for her return home.

    Stay cosy

  13. Irene says:

    Although we in the south of Sweden usually don’t have snow for more than a month or so, we have, for the last few years had snows for 4-5 months on end, and then it does get a bit too much. That said, I still love the first snow fall, there is some kind of magic to it.

    The dog, however, who doesn’t have to worry about icy roads or shovelling snow, he just loves it!

    Lovely yarns! Especially the green-blue one.

  14. Cathy says:

    Just popped in to give you some yarn loving- oooh I love your colours!
    Can’t help a teensy giggle at your reaction to snow ( as I am in northern UK!) Hope you forgive me for that…then again in the UK we only have decent sunshine every 50 years! ha ha
    AND aww what a lovely lovely message from KB -aren’t you just a gorgoeus couple?

  15. Janine says:

    Aagh Alice, your blog is such a light to my day. What a beautiful winter wonderland in Wellington, that is such a blessing after all the earthquakes that have been there, I am so jealous. It snowed all around SA yesterday but missed Johannesburg, guess I should be glad as I have just put seedlings into the garden for spring. I love your monstar, had a look at some of the others, they are really super adorable. The silly monstar smile makes me smile and almost giggle! Thanks for a lovely post, have a terrific Tuesday!

  16. Karen says:

    Hey Alice, thank you for sharing your descriptions and photo about the snow in Welly, my naughty son who lives there hasn’t told me a thing about it lol I had seen on the news about it because I follow the NZ herald online, fantastic isn’t it when it snows where least expected.

  17. I saw on the news last night that there was snow in NZ and thought of you! We’ve had two winters with very heavy snow and I still get very excited when I see the soft stuff falling from the sky.

    I absolutely adore Harriet and have had Rebecca’s advert saved on Ravelry for a while.

    Hope KB got home safely
    Carole xXx

  18. Ali says:

    Oooh! Gorgeous spinning Alice. I love the colours – especially that first one ♥. Stay warm! xx

  19. Peeriemoot says:

    Enjoy the snow! It looks so wrong on North Island vegetation😀. Hope KB gets back soon though. I was just trying to explain to my son about you not getting proper snow for years and he’s trying very hard to imagine that. Although we don’t get a vast amount here our last two winters have been snowier than usual and he got quite sick of it. I’m a bit sad that snow’s lost its magic for him and he’s only eight.

    Love your greeny-blue yarn – looks like you’re having fun!

  20. lyn says:

    we are seeing reports here in the UK of the snow you are having it must be so exciting if you don’t have it very often (unlike us!) hope you are keeping warm and safe.

  21. Megan says:

    So glad that Richie is not frozen stiff, was a bit worried when I saw the news and all the snow! Try to enjoy the weather if you can, good soup weather.

  22. kiwiyarns says:

    Isn’t it wild! I’m so loving the real winter weather!!! Your spinning looks so pretty, and Richie is just the cutest little lamb. I hope he’s keeping warm and snug in this cold. xx

  23. crochetingdoc says:

    Thanks for the vibrant photos Alice! My day isn’t going very well and these helped lift my mood a little bit!
    Have a wonderful day!

  24. Yummy yarns, the blue-green one which you’ve dyed is my favourite. Harriet is very pink (and handsome). I followed your links to see the snow, I must admit I was expecting there to be more! But if it’s the first at all in 50 years then it’s still special. Enjoy!

  25. Such colourful photos as always! Your spinning and dyeing is awesome. I love watching your progress. And it’s good to start seeing stuff knitted up in the yarn you’ve produced. The monster is cool, will be checking Ravelry later myself. I’m a slight perfectionist so share your frustrations at being a beginner. I’m trying hard to be ok with the natural mistakes your going to make while learning a new craft, and understand you have to put the time in to become good at something. It takes far too long for me though and doesn’t stop me getting frustrated that I’m trying so hard and I’m not an instant pro!
    Richi looks like he’s got little leg warmers on! So cute!
    Kier x

  26. Robin says:

    Hi Alice, boy did I enjoy your post today! I sat with my coffee and read and read and enjoyed and enjoyed. You have really gotten into the dyeing, spinning and spinning! I find it so amazing and thrilling to see and imagine doing. I don’t have a wheel or drop spindle. What to you think of learning on a drop spindle? Love the candy floss made into Harriet! I bought Rebecca’s book and it is so fabulous.
    Now about snow, it was beautiful and I can see why you are so excited, but we had so much snow in Vermont US this past winter, I am not at all ready for winter yet! When it falls here it lasts for 6 months! Since I am new to this area, I am telling myself that’s so you can get tons of knitting done : ) Well sorry for such a long comment but it was such a great post, I couldn’t help it. Oh, one more thing, I love Richie and of course RAYMOND! Have a great day. xoRobin❤

  27. Penelope says:

    Hi Alice
    I’m being naughty whist camping and have made friends with our neighbours who have let me have a peek at my blog and of course I needed to check out your new post! x Lovely yarn you’re creating, I’m getting spinning envy again. Oh to feel that yarn spinning through my fingers :0)

    Love love your little Harriet monster she’s a candyfloss queen of homespun heaven. Rebecca’s monsters always put a smile on my face. Of course I have to but love Penelope the empathetic monster (he he). Happy days of snow and snuggles, hope K makes it back safely xox Penelope

  28. Wow Alice your spinning is looking mighty fine! I just dyed some pencil roving and I’m calling it Alice, it is so your colours 🙂
    That yarn doesn’t look lumpy and slubby it looks delightfully hand spun. I’ve been told that once I master the super fine sock yarn then I will have trouble going back to chunky….I hope not! I love your little monster, look how nicely Harriet has knitted up. I have a heap of those patterns, what a good idea to use your small skeins for them, I was trying to think of what to make with mine?? abd

    Snow how wonderful and fun and what a great chance to wear all your gorgeous wooly wear 🙂

    Ahhhh Richie…..too cute!

  29. minaandme says:

    Look at all that snow for you! And the lion in the snow is absolutely beautiful! One of my favorite creatures🙂 Being outside in the stillness of falling snow is so serene and the crispness of it all makes you feel so alive! Anyways, before I get carried away…those handspun bits are so pretty! The colors are splendid, especialliy the greens and purples of the very first one. Harriet is lovely as well in her pink glory🙂 She is darling and I hope she adds some color and smiles to your sitting area! Enjoy sitting in and working on all your yarny goodness!
    PS- Praying that KB gets home safely and soon!

  30. val says:

    Your posts never fail to leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  31. Paula says:

    I have to tell you…I’ve lived in snowy places my whole life and I still love to watch the snow!

  32. Henny says:

    Hi Alice, amazing pictures of Wellington. The fact that NZ is under snow was even on the news broadcast here in Holland!

  33. renee says:

    dear alice what adventures you and raymond have. renee

  34. Joanna says:

    Enjoy the snow! The lion in the snow picture is wonderful. I love seeing all the photos of your spinning – absolutely beautiful! Take care Joanna xx

  35. Heather says:

    The first snow is always soooooo exciting isn’t it, and then after a little while the excitement turns into frustration as the snow just gets in the way of all your plans. And it’s surprisingly wet as well. Most disappointing! hehe.

    I LOVE that sock yarn by the way, the colours are gorgeous. It makes me simultaneously think of springtime, and of the seaside. Very pretty🙂

  36. Carol says:

    Hi Alice, sorry it is fffffffffffreezing there, good job you made all those wonderful socks! I think the coming winter in Blighty will be ccccccold too, last year was the first in over 20 years that one of our shrubs had more than a handful of berries, this year it is already smothered, oh dear. I love looking at the snow but it isn’t much fun if/when you need to go out, but we still have a bit more summer and autumn to enjoy before we start worrying about winter.
    What a wonderful ‘monster’ (no, Raymond, I wasn’t referring to you, you are the most handsome of chaps, not monster-like in any way)
    Carol xx

  37. Sarah says:

    I know what youi mean about the snow, we get snow here in south Texas every 30 years or so and the schools close, the highways close and the whole towh just shuts down, not bad for a city of almost a million. I look forward when that happens to be shut up in my house with a fire going and lots of crochet. The Richie pictures are so cute and Harriet is darling, I would like to crochet her and maybe a few sisters too. Kisses to Raymond.

    Sarah from Texas

  38. Louisa says:

    Hee hee hee🙂 my other half is called Richie, and every time I see a photo of your Richie I have to show mine🙂
    I love how excited you are about the snow! After the most recent winter we had here in the UK, I’d be happy to never see snow again!!

  39. Harriet is so funny! She looks like she’s growling in a nervous kind of way which makes her very comical! Love her. Your dying and spinning and knitting from your handspun is just amazing Alice, you’re a force of nature! I like Miss Misery best too, it’s absolutely beautiful. And as I am impressed by anyone spinning their own fibre, I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell the difference between well spun and not so well spun, all your spinning looks amazing to me. I love snow, as long as it doesn’t stop the momentum of life for too long, then it becomes a bind. So I hope your snow lasts long enough to remain beautiful, and doesn’t reach the disliking it stage! Raymond must be amazed by it! Vanessa xxx

  40. Liz says:

    I love unexpected days off! ‘Snow days’ are The Best. It’s lovely being inside and cosy and all snuggled up watching the snow fall outside. Hope KB makes it home soon!
    Harriet is F-A-B! Her face is very endearing!!!!!!

  41. Hello Alice, I love your and Raymond’s blog and I’ve been following you guys for a while now🙂
    I was wondering if you could share your pattern for socks? I like your tutorials (and socks) and I just haven’t found a proper pattern/tutorial for socks yet (that I can understand) and I’m dying to make some.

  42. Julie says:

    Everyone needs to experience snow falling onto them at least once in a lifetime, its so lovely to sit cuddled up in front of a roaring fire drinking a nice hot drnk and watch it out of the window. Great pics of it in your area.
    Harriet is adorable!
    Hope KB made the journey home safely

  43. Kat says:

    The whole world has had crazy weather this year! It’s kind of scary. Loved the pics.

    Love your yarn too. Very beautiful!

  44. I love Richie’s boots! Too cute! and the fiber looks so yummy! Cheers! ~M

  45. Just LOVE the colors of the first bit of spinning! So jewel-like! And I LOVE Ms. Monster! She is too cute for words! I’m so happy you got to experience snow eventhough it is a bit of a bugger to navigate in. It is so beautiful! Perhaps you can find a hill with enough to slide down!

  46. Sophie Slim says:

    My goodness, this is such a cool blog! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your yarn!!! Dying is so inspirational (well, seeing other peoples) I’ve never done it myself and wouldn’t know where on earth to begin. Keep up the great work and stay warm!🙂

  47. Melissa says:

    I am in love with….Harriet. Richie is pretty dang cute too. You are really getting good with your spinning. Your colors are gorgeous. I’m afraid I have to ask a question as someone who has never dyed wool….what do you mean by allowing the dye to exhaust? I hope KB got home safely and you enjoy your snow. It really is quite pretty, isn’t it?

  48. Oh, I just love Harriet, lol! Such character! And as for Richie – too, too cute!🙂

  49. Jennifer W says:

    Alice…you need to post tutorial videos on your blog! You make me want to learn how to die, how to stash roving, how to spin! More! More!🙂 Thank Raymond for me for being such an excellent model & sport in sharing the spotlight with Richie. Have a great weekend!

  50. Liza says:


  51. Leah says:

    Hi Alice, what a brilliant post! It has been a totally mad week of weather here this week hasn’t it. And today (Saturday) it’s absolutely gorgeous but still cold. Nice to see the back end of that rain and snow ay. Your wool looks absolutely amazing – the colour blends are stunning. I have total and utter yarn envy!! Hope you have a fab week hon. Oh – and before I forget, I love the pick of Raymond with his monster – too cute!! Leah x

  52. Joyce says:

    hullo Alice, oh wow snow, how beautiful. All your beautiful spinning and dyeing i so love these colours. I think I am in love with the blues and greens (photos just before your darling Harriet candy floss pink). It so reminds me of the ocean, and I love the ocean. Looking forward to seeing a sibling for Harriet soon too. She looks awesome! Enjoy the rest of you weekend.

  53. came to your blog via Northern hi lights – so am here for the very first time! Love your photos, love your designs, I am still exploring your blog posts so may be here for a bit reading…
    Where I am In Canada – on the west coast we don’t get alot of snow, but I have lived further north and know there are many different types of snow. The light fluffy drift down lazily are my favourite, the hard white blowing kind that feels like tiny pins poking into your face are my least favourite.

  54. Taryn says:

    I love your beautiful yarn and your beautiful little lamb. What a sweety!

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